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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Academic Libraries Seek LMS Integration

Campus libraries are still popular places where students can go to study and work on papers while mixing in a little socializing. One thing most of those students won’t do during a trip to the library is open a library book. They’ll do that later—online.

As Campus Technology notes, academic libraries are experiencing a shift in how they provide materials to students for research and course readings. More students (and also faculty) are accessing the library’s collection through e-reserves.

Students may not be all that crazy about studying from a digital textbook, but they do find it much more convenient to go online from the comfort of their own laptops to tap into the library’s materials to gather information for a project or to read something their professor has placed on reserve for the class. For research, in particular, print books are too cumbersome.

From the perspective of librarians, though, there is one major hurdle: learning management systems. Far from being dismayed at the move from print to digital usage, campus libraries are eager to accommodate students online. They’d like to be able to integrate their e-reserves with the school’s LMS to create a one-stop-shopping location, so to speak, for student reading materials. At the very least, libraries want their catalog to be incorporated in the LMS search function to show students and faculty what’s available through the library.

However, library systems and learning management systems are not always fully compatible. Some schools required extensive customization to get both systems to work together, while others created an LMS from scratch in order to build in access to the library. Still others opted to develop library guides that could be placed within the LMS.

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